Justice Francois A. Rivera


Read Full-Text Decision

Buyer Yomi Homes sued for specific performance of a real estate contract. Seller Hussain interposed an answer and his prior counsel was substituted by Ginzburg & Misk LLP (G&M). The parties entered into a contract of sale but despite a down payment and repeated demands to close by Yomi, Hussain refused, repudiating the contract. Jasse Capital had notice of Yomi’s interest in the property but purchased it from Hussain. G&M represented Hussain as his transaction attorney in the sale of the property to Jasse and subsequently interposed an amended answer on behalf of both Hussain and Jasse. Yomi sought to disqualify G&M from representing defendants, arguing the firm was likely to be a witness on a significant issue of fact, including an understanding of why Jasse proceeded to buy the property from Hussain despite being on notice of Yomi’s claims to the property. It argued that without such testimony there would be scant available evidence on such issue. The court ruled Yomi failed to show disqualification of G&M was warranted noting Jasse’s representative would be able to explain the circumstances behind the purchase and Yomi’s claims of necessity were conclusory and unsupported. Hence, disqualification was denied.